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to date has not shed much light on the origins of Samuel Poe. No record of the name
Poe has been found in the records for the Virginia Colony prior to 1704 when
Samuel Poe is listed in the Virginia Quit Rent Roll for
to the Headrights statutes,
was an influx of people into
However Samuel Poe acquired his 800 acres, the time period must have been between 1676 and 1704. The land was part of the original 4200 acres accorded in the Meders/Peters grant dated 1676. Meders is spelled with many variants, including Meaders, and possibly Meades. The name in its modern form is Meadows. Peters is also spelled Peeters and sometimes Petars in these early records.
1704 - Samuel Poe's original 800 Acres
Virginia Tax Records from the Virginia
Magazine of History and Biography, The William and Mary Quarterly,
and Tyler’s Quarterly.
The same book includes this section -
The annotations include who the landowner married and their date of death if it could be determined by the researcher. As an example, one annotation states: John Battaile (d. 1706; married Catherine Taliaferro and Elizabeth Smith)
The entry for Samuel Poe includes only one annotation – the date of death, since that is all the court records reveal. This researcher and the one who annotated the Rent Roll concur in our findings.
On page 63: Samuel Poe (d. 1725)
general location of Samuel Poe lands can be ascertained through descriptions in
various deeds. A deed from 11 February
1708 describes a 50 acre parcel of the Meders/Peters
grant as “in St. Mary’s Parish” bordering “Samuel Poe’s land by a branch … north
side of the south fork of Peumansend
a deed between John Bell and William Bryan dated 18 May 1719, land in St.
Mary’s Parish is described as “part of 4200 acres formerly granted to John Medows and Henry Peters by patent 17 April 1667” bordering
“Saml. Poe’s land … corner gum on the north side
of the north fork of
From the foregoing description, it appears that Samuel Poe’s land was at the mouth of a fork in the Pewmansend and going south from the fork. Or, it may be said, lying between the waters of the fork – if that is a proper reading of “north side of south fork” contrasted with “north side of the north fork.”
A further description ties
On 20 October 1724, fifty acres is sold to Francis
Browning (who later administers the estate of Samuel Poe). This land is describes
as “lyeing on the East side of
Francis Browning acquired another fifty acres in the area through a deed dated 20 October 1724. That land is described as also being of the Meadows / Peeter’s grant “beginning at a corner red oak & hickory of Samuel Poe’s land & running thence South to a corner gum on the North side of the South Fork of Peumansend Swamp thence down the Swamp its several courses brought straight North to three gums corner to Samuel Poe’s land at ye mouth of a branch thence up the branch North joining to the said Francis Browning by Virtue of Statute for Transferring uses into possession…”
Samuel Poe acquires an additional 105 acres from Matthew Collins in 1708
We know that Samuel Poe acquired 105 acres of land from Matthew Collins on February 10, 1708. The following data may relate to the original Samuel Poe lands and/or the additional 105 acres.
Samuel Poe’s land probably adjoins that of Frederick Coghill
On 27 October 1707, Richard Booker (through attorney
Thomas Short) sells an unspecified amount of land to Fredericke
Samuel Poe witnessed the deed – most likely because his own lands
bordered and he was witnessing the deed to verify that the borders of land
being sold did not encroach upon his own. James Coghill
(Fredericke’s father) also witnessed, probably for
similar reasons (we often find that witnesses to deeds are owners of bordering
land). The land being sold by Booker was originally part of a 1050 acre patent
Matthew Collins apparently owned a portion of the Meders/Peters grant by 1708. This could have been gained through his wife, Mary Peters, only daughter of Henry Peters, the Peters of the grant. Matthew Collins sold part of his land to Samuel Poe.
On 10 February 1708, Matthew Collins sold Samuel Poe 105 acres of land for 2000 pounds of tobacco. Clearly, the original 800 produced a sizeable crop. Samuel Poe must have had many people tending the acreage as researchers say that a single person could manage only one or two acres. However, evidence indicates that his sons were only born beginning around 1705. Other than the men who begin appearing in court records after Samuel’s death (who we assume to be his sons), we know only of Robert Poe of Essex County, who died with his own, apparently modest, estate in 1722 (whether Robert Poe owned his own land outright, leased land from Samuel Poe or farmed a portion of Samuel Poe’s land does not appear to be recorded).
The land sold by Matthew Collins to Samuel Poe is described as “105 acres, part of 4200 acres granted to John Medows and Henry Petars by patent 17 April 1667 in St. Anne’s Parish” bordering “Mr. Macco’s (Micou’s) land on the west side of the south fork of Pumansend Swamp (the original 800 acres was on the north side of the south fork). This deed is witnessed by Leo Hill (not much can be derived from the court records about this man) and Salvator Muscoe (who presides as a judge at one point – so this may be a legal witness, not one associated with the land holdings). Samuel Poe’s original 800 acres seems to be on the north side of the south fork. This deed was witnessed by William Gannocke, who we see below also owns a portion of the Meders/Peters grant which he sells to Matthew Collins. One wonders if Collins were trying to acquire the lands belonging to the Meders heirs. Also witnessing were Cornelius Sale, about whom nothing has been discovered, and Paul Micou, who we have seen owns lands bordering Samuel’s.
Sidebar: McDonald Poe, in his book Samuel Poe of Essex County, mistakenly assumes that the fact Mary, the wife of Matthew Collins, relinquishes her right of dower to Samuel indicates she is his daughter. He also apparently misread some record and states that Mary Collins gave Samuel Poe power of attorney. No record to that effect has been uncovered. Further, in a deed dated 6 March 1708, Mary Collins is described as “only daughter and heire apparent of Henry Peters” the co-owner of the Meders/Peters grant.
On 6 March 1708 William Gannock sold 850 acres of the Meders/Peters grant to Matthew Collins. Witnesses were Paul Micou, Thomas Meades, John Ellis (probably Ellits / Elliot who are later connected to the Poe, George and Herndon lines) and John Sanders. These men appear through several lines of evidence to be neighbors of Samuel Poe, along with Matthew Collins and Francis Browning.
On 10 March 1708 Matthew Collins and wife,
Mary, sold 406 acres to Paul Micou (an attorney in
Mathew Collins to John Sanders
On 6 March 1708, Mathew Collins sells to John Sanders (who already owns lands bordering Samuel’s) 766 acres described as “lying on a swamp called Pewmansend, in two parts, 600 and 166 acres as by deeds by William Gannocke unto John Sanders 30 May 1706 for 600 acres and 3 May 1707 for 166 acres… granted unto Henry Peters and John Meaders This deed is witnessed by John Ellits and William Robinson (who is an attorney during this period)
Matthew Collins to Robert Marshall
February 11, 1708, Matthew Collins sells Robert Marshall 50 acres for 1000
pounds. The land is described as “in St. Mary’s Parish” bordering “Samuel Poe’s
land by a branch … north side of the south fork of
Robert Marshall to Thomas Smith
Thomas Smith to John Bell
Robert Marshall soon sells the 50 acres to Thomas Smith on September 9, 1708 (amount not mentioned). Smith then, for 1700 pounds of tobacco, sells the 50 acres to John Bell – who we see from a deed dated 18 May 1719 owns land adjacent to Samuel Poe. Just by re-selling the land, it has increased in value by over two thirds.
There are other deeds involving Francis Browning, John Ellits and others that further reinforce the location of Samuel Poe’s lands.
As mentioned above, the Matthew Collins land and the first lands of Samuel Poe seem to be near lands of James Coghill. The following record relates how James Coghill got some of his lands by bringing over five people (which implies use of the Headrights law). People could “sell” Headrights. In other words, if you knew people willing to be brought over, but did not have the money to pay the transport, someone could finance bringing the people over, and you would get the lands. It appears that James Coghill arranged to bring over five people, then transferred the land to Thomas Kirk for consideration of 2400 pounds of tobacco and a caske. It may be significant that Coghill was in the business of arranging travel to the Colony. It is possible that Samuel Poe and his family arrived through Headrights transportation. We see through the records that Samuel Poe had some connection to the Coghill family.
Edited and Published by Ruth and Sam Sparacio.
William Berkeley Knt., etc doe with the consent of the council of state
accordingly give and grant unto James Coghill two
hundred forty and six acres of land in the
Recorded 16th 8br 1665
Test Phillp Ludwell
all men by these presents that I James Coghill of the
Parrish of Sittingbourne in the
The assignment of land above menconed was acknowledged by James Coghill and Richard Hanford in the behalfe of Alice Coghill and to the use and behoofe of the Kirke and his heires and desired to be recorded in the County court of Rappa. To the true intents above specified as witness my hand this 4th of August 1666 James Coghill
Recorded in Con. Rappa
5 Die 7bris Ano 1666
William Wilton to James Coghill
116h 8br 1667
there is a George Collins and Detter Collins
says recordat 12 Feb 1666
More information regarding land grants in old Rappahannock County
Samuel Poe did not receive a land grand old Rappahannock County
original patents (land grants) for old
In the fourth grant of Caroline
land (the third along the
Samuel Poe must have acquired his 800 acres from John Meders or Henry Peters, but no record of the transaction is known to be extant.
The Meders/Peters grant is
referred to in several land transfers recorded in
lands along Peumansend Creek were granted to the
following, again from
1667 – Alexander Fleming, 2,750
acres two miles from the
March 17, 1673, Robert Taliaferro, the son of Robert Taliaferro, 739 acres on the south side of the Rappahannock River on both sides of the mouth of a creek known as Peumansend. (Evidently at this time all of Mill Creek was called Peumandsend).
Nov. 5, 1673, Simon Miller, 817 acres “in the county of Rappahannock in the freshes thereof, on the south side of the river, at the head of Peumansend.
Nov. 5, 1673, to Rollins, 650 acres in the back country adjacent to the land granted Simon Miller that day.
Robert Taliaferro braved shaky title and pillaging pirates to build his establishments on open water navigable for ocean going vessels and took advantage of the opportunity for lucrative trade, which the rapidly growing section offered. Not only were the twelve original patentees in the area, but some, at least, of the first twelve had already divided their holdings with more recently arrived settles. . . Besides the patents of Smith and Taliaferro at Snow Creek and Henry Corbin eastward from Ware Creek and the Lewis, Warner and Hoomes grants in the upper Mettapony Valley there were only two other grants prior to 1676. In 1672 Col. Thomas Goodrich patented 2,200 acres on Tuckahoe Creek and Francis and Anthony Thornton took up 2,740 acres on the north side of Mattapony above the steam’s major fork.
land began to be sold off as the Poe families moved away. Samuel Poe’s lands
were in the portion of
William Poe (whose wife was
James Jones acknowledged his deeds of lease and release of land indented to William Poe. John Jones by virtue of a power from Mary wife of James relinquished her rights of dower.
It seems that Benjamin Poe moved to
Benja. Poe acknowledged his deeds of lease and release of land indented to John Bradley.
William Poe and
(p. 461 [9 Dec. 1737]
William Poe’s deeds of lease and release of land indented to William Taliaferro Gent. (and also a power of attorney from Lydia Poe to Benjamin Robinson) was proved by John Gough, John Gough, Jr, and Samuel Edwards, witnesses thereto.
Substantial Poe lands must have remained in
10 Nov. 1749
Upon the information of Wm. Herndon, constable, agt. Simon Poe for tending seconds, it is ordered that Zacha. Lewis Gent, King's attorney, prosecute him.
9 December 1749
Simon Poe confessed judgment unto our sovereign Lord the King on an information for 2000 pounds.
9 August 1753
Our Sovereign Lord the King agt. Simon Poe. Information William Elliott, foreman. It's considered by the Court that the plaintiff recover 3000 pounds of tobacco.
(It appears that land was used to settle the debt with Copeland. By 1778 only 105 acres was being assessed for taxes)
10 March 1757
Samuel Poe's deed indented to Peter Copland
following deed records the sale of lands in which the Richard Bradford family,
including the Poe men married to Richard Bradford’s daughters, had title. The
deed transfers land from this group to John Thilman.
It is curious that Sarah Bradford was required to acknowledge her deed of
release but not the others, for instance Elizabeth. Richard Bradford had died a year earlier. The
Simon Poe SR family is facing up to 5000 pounds of tobacco in fines. After this
release of land, both the Simon Poe family, and many of the Bradford people
Simon Poe, Jr.
Rachel Bradford (widow)
Elizabeth Bradford (daughter),
Hannah Poe (Hannah Bradford, wife of Stephen Poe, brother of Simon Poe, JR)
Saphiah Poe (Sophia Poe, wife of Simon Poe, Jr)
Sarah Bradford (perhaps Richard’s sister? Which would explain her signing a separate release. Maybe his mother, ages here are not mentioned)
9 Nov. 1758
Rachel Bradford, Elizabeth Bradford, Stephen Poe, Hana Poe, Simon Poe Junr, Saphiah (Sophia) Poe, Rachel, Eliza., Hanah and Saphiah being first privately examined, acknowledge their deed of release indented to John Thilman. Sarah Bradford acknowledged her deed of release indented to John Thilman.
By 1766, a William
Poe was head of a surveying "gang" at least from 1766 to 1782. This
William Poe owned 105 acres for which he was taxed each year up to 1799, the
last record available. William Poe also appraised estates. It appears that only
this William Poe remained in
p. 353 Court 10th day of July 1766
Ordered that William Poe with his gang assist Charles Stern and his gang in making a crossway over Prosser’s Run.
p. 364. Court 14 of November 1771
Ordered Charles Pemberton, Walter Anderson, William Poe, and Joseph Timberlake or any three of them (being first sworn) do appraise the estate of Edward Bowler deceased and return an Inventory thereof to Court.
Ordered Peyton Stern, Richard Micou, William Poe and Samuel Rawlins or any two of them do view the most convenient way from Richard Ship’s through Marshall’s and Sullenger’s Plantations into the main road.
New land was acquired by a Benjamin Poe in 1772 - but he does not appear on later tax lists. Land was transferred again six years later.
8 August 1772
A Deed Indented & Receipt from Edward Brasfied & Elizabeth his wife (she being first privately examined) to Benja: Poe acknowledged & ordered to be recorded.
Benjamin Poe and wife,
Elizabeth (this pair seems to show up in
p. 126 Court 8 Oct 1778
A deed indented and receipt from Benjamin Poe and Elizabeth his wife (she being first privately examined) acknowledged and ordered to be recorded (to whom granted not named)
As the century came to a close, it appears that 105 acres still remained in the hands of a descendant of Samuel Poe. This is the same amount of land acquired by Samuel Poe in 1707.
Poe, William 105 acres (listed each year for the period 1788-99)
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